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Product Review: P21S Paintwork Cleanser


The P21S Paintwork Cleanser, simply put, is a must have for everyone.

P21S Paintwork Cleanser is a great way to prepare your paint before sealing or waxing. This pure polish helps cleanse the clear coat so it is free from embedded debris and other contamination. Over time contaminates will become lodged in between the micro ridges of the clear coat and they will often not be removed with a simple wash and dry. The contaminates and swirls cause light to not pass directly through the clear coat, which prevents a deep shine. This polish will help remove imperfections, surface contamination, oxidation, old wax and sealant while buffing the paint to a high shine. The Paintwork Cleanser’s smooth cream goes on and off very easy and makes a great addition to any detailer’s arsenal.

This a must have because it’s a product in a category all by itself.  Along with being a great pre-wax cleanser, it’s a great tool when you want to avoid a complete clay bar decontamination and polishing.

As the description states, the P21S Paintwork Cleanser works very well as a chemical cleaner for everything from faded/oxidized paint to water spots.  It is surprisingly effective considering it leaves a perfect finish and doesn’t marr the paint at all when used properly.  I use it mostly when clients are seeking removal of lighter surface contamination but don’t want any clay usage and machine polishing, or prior to applying protection to the paint.

How to use it

I use the P21S Paintwork Cleanser mainly by hand, utilizing either a DI Microfiber Applicator Pad or DI Yellow Foam Applicator Pad.  I like to use the foam applicator pad when I’m trying to remove some spotting or staining, such as light water spots or tar staining in the paint, because I find it to be a bit more aggressive.  By being a tad more aggressive I find the foam pad simply easier to use compared to the microfiber pad because I need to use less pressure and spend less time removing certain staining.  Along with water stains, it’s a great combo to use when removing wax residue, sticker/adhesive residue and minor scuffs in the paint.  On the other hand, I find the microfiber pad much easier to hold and use in general, so I like to utilize it when applying the cleanser simply as a pre-wax treatment over the entire vehicle.  The microfiber pad also covers more surface area so it makes more sense to use it instead of the foam pad for pre-wax prep.

As far as motion and pressure goes, it generally requires very little to no pressure.  I like to use left/right and up/down motions as with anything else to ensure that you don’t cause any circular swirl marks and makes it easy to tell if you are causing any by seeing straight swirls in the paint.  As I said above, pressure will slightly vary depending on the results you’re after and what exactly you’re trying to accomplish with the cleanser, but in general I’d recommend almost no pressure.

To wrap up, I have been using the P21S Paintwork Cleanser for many years now, and I don’t see another product replacing it.  Zymol’s HD Cleanse is a competing product but I find the P21S cleanser to be the same or better in terms of actual cleansing ability and considering that it’s much easier to use, doesn’t stain the applicators and also leaves a well prepped finish, the P21S Paintwork Cleanser is an easy choice over any others.  Highly recommended for all to try out soon!

Ivan Rajic LUSTR Deatil
Ivan Rajic
LUSTR Detail
257 N Woodwork Lane
Palatine IL 60067
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27 comments on Product Review: P21S Paintwork Cleanser

  1. sm says:

    Nice review. How do you compared it against Carlack NSC?

  2. Ivan Rajic says:

    Thanks SM. I have never tried Carlack NSC so I really can’t say how it compares. Maybe someone else here can chime in if they have experience.

  3. CJW says:

    Is this similar to Klasse All-in-one, or is there a fundamental difference between the two products?


    • Ivan Rajic says:


      It is fairly similar to Klasse All-in-one (KAIO), but I haven’t thoroughly compared the two to give you exact differences, pros, cons, etc. From my experience, the P21S cleanser is more of a paste-y liquid which seems to be best used by hand, whereas KAIO is completely liquid and works great via machine. P21S cleanser seems like it’s more of a very, very fine polish which can be used by hand with more or less pressure to remove defects and stains accordingly. KAIO on the other hand seems to simply work with time, so the longer you use it (preferably by machine) the better it removes oxidation, staining, etc.

      Hope that helps a bit.

    • Loda says:

      A liquid. It can be used to do the flilowong jobs; Fast wax, quick detailer, glass polish and clay lube. Does it do them well? Yes. And very well too in fact. It needs be diluted down for some of the jobs and you have to buy your own sprayer to put it in, (go to a DIY shop, they’ll sell them), but this stuff is excellent! As a wax it leaves a good finish and is very easy to use. Just make sure that if you’re applying it in direct sunlight, you polish it off quickly, as it can streak slightly. It is easily removed however, but do it right first time and it’s no problem. For use as a quick detailer, after you’ve washed and waxed your car, or even just used after washing it, it really is great and gets a ‘showroom finish’ quickly and easily. It can also be used as a glass cleaner and a clay lube (see Glass Cleaner and Clay Lube reviews).

      • I wonder if it can work like autoglym glass polish which you cant buy at canadian tire anymore since. You mention this can used for car glass and will it work on windshields

      • Can this be used like. Autoglym glass polish from england and hard to find in ontario canada
        Really love to know…every window cleaner spray made always leave a film residue you can see driving into a sunset.please reply thanks

  4. ROB says:


    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Rob,

      I’m pretty sure that the P21S Cleanser can be used before any wax, but from personal experience Zymol can be quite a bit finicky, so I really couldn’t give you a straight answer to that one. It does perform the same function as HD cleanse but I’m not sure if it will be compatible with the Vintage wax. I would try it on a small section and go from there. Hope that helps.

  5. William says:

    How does this compare to ez creme glaze?

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      I have yet to really test the EZ Creme Glaze so I really can’t say. I’ve only used it once on a trunk lid and liked what it did, but I can’t draw a comparison just from that. Once I do test it a bit more I’ll be sure to leave my thoughts here, or maybe in review of the Glaze as well.

  6. Jack says:

    Hi Ivan.How often do u use this product?I wax every 4 to 6 weeks.Does it remove imperfections
    I would b removing by hand.I have a black vehicle

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Jack,

      Since most of my work is paint correction, I rarely use this product, maybe a handful times per year. Reason being, polishing/correcting paint does the job of the cleanser so there’s no point to do this extra step. I only do it for a few clients yearly when we don’t do any machine polishing and before using their favorite waxes, like Zymol, etc. It shouldn’t be used to remove imperfections like swirls, etc. as it is very mild and probably can’t do much, especially by hand. However, it does remove stains and similar issues very well. Hope that helps.

      • Jack says:

        Thank you. I recently had my car detailed about 8 weeks ago.Its black and here we go starting to go those inadvertent swirls again.Should I apply a polish in between b for I wax to help w these swirls until I get it detailed again in the fall.And what would b the best product to apply by hand

        • Ivan Rajic says:

          It’s really one of those questions that can’t be simply answered because there’s no such thing as best product since every situation is different to an extent. There’s really not much you can do by hand to remove swirls and if they’re coming back that quickly (considering they were properly removed in the first place) I would look more so into proper washing and drying techniques and products as opposed to something that will quickly improve the swirls every 8 weeks.

  7. Jack says:

    Yes I understand that’s the question too.Got it detailed looked real good then but I am trying to determine if its them or me.Read up a lot on detailers using fillers that will hide for a period of time then come back.Im using grit guards sheepskin mitts and a super absorber that I blot dry with.Tough situation because u take it back to them after 2 months they will say u introduced them to ur paint.The only other thing I can think of is the carnauba wax I’m using it hardins and just a little tough to remove u have to wipe w one microfiber then wipe again to get excess off.these aren’t swirls they are like vertical lines.I did read a thread u did on p21 s wax which I did purchase u said on darker colors they will appear after a few months . I wash my car every week prob did it ten times already gets really dirty in this area.But looks better than 95 percent of the other black vehicles

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Yeah it could be many things. You’ll have no ensure that the swirls are removed before you can figure out if and how you’re causing the swirl marks after a detail job. As for the p21s wax, I don’t think that should harden enough to need heavy pressure when wiping off, but if it does harden on you just do smaller sections and make sure you remove it before it gets too hard.

  8. Jack says:

    This detailer I just had was the best out of 4 I tried they were horrible.Just can’t find a good one.The most recent one I would give a grade letter of a C

  9. Beads says:

    Hi Ivan,
    What do you think if i use this cleanser by hand after claying…then use ex creme before applying p21s carnabu wax? what combination is better..as there are light swirls on my dark car and i cant remove them because i still do not own a machine polisher so ill be filling the swrils with a galze…should i apply the wax before the glaze or after the glaze???
    my assumption is apply glaze and then seal it with a wax..

  10. Rob says:

    Can you compare this P21S product to the very similar Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion?

  11. kincel.com says:

    I appreciate you spending the time to share this info, I enjoy reading more about this.

  12. Thank you for your expert and amazing info!

  13. chickenfootjoe says:

    Made a 10 year old uncared for car look fresh out of the factory. Long process but I washed with my favorite soap (griots brilliant wash), clay barred (with a speedy surface prep towel), then p121s paintwork cleanser, then a synthetic sealer (jescar power lock plus). After about a month of weekly washings I gave it another really thorough wash, then I used a glaze (chem guys ez creme) followed by a carnuba (p21s). Man after that the car looked like a mirror. No trace of the foggy paint or scratches. Been able to use a spray wash (griots brand) about every 5 days with a plus microfiber towel to maintain the waxed appearance, though after a couple months it’s about ready for another real wash. I’m sure that was a little redundant. Maybe a cleaner wax would have been preferable somewhere in there. I don’t know. I just know the car looks great. It was a lot of work but fun to see how mirror like I could get a car that looked like the paint was about done.

  14. chickenfootjoe says:

    Forgot to mention I used finish kare 425 as a lubricant for the speedy prep towel.

  15. Steven Leccese says:

    Ivan, I just bought a 2017 Subaru Impreza Sport on July 21, 2017. I’m excellent at detailing my cars and want to use the very best products on this car. I spent days detailing my last car, a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am GT Sedan, by claying it and using Mother’s Pure Polish (Phase 1) & Mother Brazilian Carnauba Paste Wax (Phase 3) by hand. My Pontiac came out superb. I found Mother’s Pure Polish excellent because it cleaned everything up great, came off so easily and left a beautiful shiny smooth surface. I have read so many great reviews about PS21 Gloss Enhancing Paintwork Cleanser and how it left an impeccable shine second to none. I did read a few reviews of some users claiming that after applying PS21 GEPC by hand it was difficult to take off and some said it left scratches in the clear coat. Is PS21 GEPC difficult to take off by hand and is there any truth to it leaving scratches in the clear coat? Can you apply it with an orbital polisher? I have every intention of claying my car before using PS21 GEPC, is this necessary? Thank you Ivan. It’s a pleasure writing to an expert like you about this.

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      I’ve never experienced anything negative with the cleanser, but I can see how it’s possible that removing is difficult if you leave it on too long. As for scratches, yes on a sensitive and dark/black paint, it may leave some swirl marks if used improperly. I haven’t used it in a long time since I only do machine polishing but it may work just fine with the orbital polisher.

      Hope that helps.

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